EFF Sues Universal Music to Protect Fair Use Rights in 29-Second Video

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has sued the Universal Music Publishing Group in order to protect the fair use and free speech rights of Stephanie Lenz, who uploaded to YouTube a 29-second recording of her infant son boogying to Prince's "Let's Go Crazy." YouTube took the video down after a complaint by Universal Music, then reposted it.

Here's an excerpt from "Mom Sues Universal Music for DMCA Abuse":

"Universal's takedown notice doesn't even pass the laugh test," said EFF Staff Attorney Corynne McSherry. "Copyright holders should be held accountable when they undermine non-infringing, fair uses like this video."

The lawsuit asks for a declaratory judgment that Lenz's home video does not infringe any Universal copyright, as well as damages and injunctive relief restraining Universal from bringing further copyright claims in connection with the video.

This lawsuit is part of EFF's ongoing work to protect online free speech in the face of bogus copyright claims. EFF is currently working with Stanford's Fair Use Project to develop a set of "best practices" for proper takedowns under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

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